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The Operator
     

The Operator

4.6 10
by Kim Harrison
 

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On-the-run ex-agent Peri Reed returns bigger and bolder than ever in this second highly-anticipated installment in #1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison's new suspense trilogy, The Peri Reed Chronicles.

Peri Reed’s job eats her mind, but for a special task agent in hiding, forgetting the past can be a blessing.

Betrayed by the man she

Overview

On-the-run ex-agent Peri Reed returns bigger and bolder than ever in this second highly-anticipated installment in #1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison's new suspense trilogy, The Peri Reed Chronicles.

Peri Reed’s job eats her mind, but for a special task agent in hiding, forgetting the past can be a blessing.

Betrayed by the man she thought she loved and the agency who turned her into the very thing she fought against, Peri abandoned the wealth and privilege of Opti for anonymity riddled with memory gaps and self-doubt. But when a highly addictive drug promises to end her dependency on those who’d use her as a tool for their own success, she must choose to remain broken and vulnerable, or return to the above-the-law power and prestige she once left: strong but without will—for whoever holds her next fix, will hold her loyalty.

Yet even now as then, a love based on lies of omission might still save her life.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781501149917
Publisher:
Pocket Books
Publication date:
11/22/2016
Series:
Peri Reed Chronicles Series
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
36,419
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Operator


  • “Ah, ma’am? Please don’t touch the car,” the man with the glass tablet said, and Peri flicked her eyes to him, acknowledging his words as she lifted the handle of the hundred- thousand-dollar car. Immediately it opened, the door making a soft hush of sound that meant money well spent as she slipped inside and let the leather seats enfold her.

    “Ma’am?”

    It smelled new, and her eyes closed for a moment as she almost reverently set her hands on the wheel, smiling as her shoulders eased and an odd relaxed tension filled her. It was sleek, sexy without being over-the-top as if confident in its power and comfortable under the spotlight. Its red color went deep, showing shadowed layers that only an off-the-assembly-line paint could deliver. A two-seater, it looked fast, with wide tires that had ample turning radius in the wheel wells and an antenna array panel to plug in just about anything now or in the future. The sound system was adequate at best, but the onboard computer display was big enough to be useful and glass compatible. Much of it was plastic, though, and Peri’s nose wrinkled.

    “It looks as if it was made for you,” the man said, the annoyed slant to his brow belying his smile as he stood just outside and held his tablet like a fig leaf.

    Peri tossed her straight black hair out of her eyes, her smile real as she looked up at him. “I bet you say that to everyone.”

    He rocked closer. “No. Only those who look like they belong in it.” He cleared his tablet, and the car’s logo ghosted into existence on the clear glass. “Well?”

    Angling her slim form, she smoothly got out before he had a coronary. Immediately the chaos of Detroit’s auto show beat anew upon her, the air smelling of ozone and popcorn, and the rhythmic thump of ambient electronic dance music from the live stage pounding into her. Content, she sent her gaze up to the multitude of cameras set to record and identify, secure in the knowledge that the swirls of black smut she’d painted on her face would keep her anonymous.

    She wasn’t alone wearing it—face paint had become to Detroit’s auto show what big hats and mint juleps were to Churchill Downs. Both men and women sported well-placed dots and swirls to disguise themselves as they checked out the competition or just avoided being tagged and sent literature. As she was dressed in black leather pants and a cropped jacket with a silk shell and six-inch black boots, the paint made her feel especially flirty and powerful. Sexy.

    She turned back to the coup, thinking it was cheating to show it in a paint job that you couldn’t get from the factory. “How do you get around the weight issue of the batteries? You’ve got them in the front, but the drive tram is in the back. The weight isn’t over the wheels, and it’s going to turn as if it was on pudding.”

    His interest sharpened. “It’s not an issue at posted speeds.”

    Peri nodded, and he winced as she ran a hand caressingly over the car’s sleek lines—all the way from the front to the back. “Over posted speeds is when you need the control, though. Acceleration?”

    “Zero to sixty in four-point-two seconds,” he said, tapping his tablet awake.

    “Battery only, or warming engine assist?” she asked, and he smiled as he brought up the literature. Ten steps away, a printer came alive with the stats.

    “Engine assist. You can’t break four seconds on just battery.”

    “A Mantis can.”

    The man looked up. “I mean a real car.”

    Peri eyed him from under a lowered brow. “You’re saying a Mantis isn’t a real car?”

    “I mean,” he tried again, flustered, “a car you can actually have. If you’re looking for speed, have you considered—”

    “Sorry. No thanks.” Peri stepped out from under the hot spotlights and into the milling crowd, snagging a tiny flute of champagne in passing. Her dress and attitude parted the way, and her warm feeling of satisfaction grew as the tingle of alcohol slipped into her. It was nice to know she still had the best. Ahh, life is good.

    “Why do you tease them like that?” a voice said at her elbow, and she spun, hand fisted.

    But the man had dropped back as if expecting it, mirth crinkling the corners of his brown eyes. The brief protest of the surrounding people subsided as they pushed past and around them—and were forgotten.

    “Silas?” she questioned, her gaze flicking to the messenger drones at the ceiling, worried a high-Q might be hiding among them. Then her eyes dropped to his tall, body-building form. His cashmere coat across his wide shoulders made him even more bulky, but his waist was trim and his face clean-shaven. The white of salt from the street rimed his John Lobb shoes, and he grimaced when she noticed. “What are you doing here? How did you find me?” she said, shifting into the lee his body made when someone jostled her.

    Taking her empty flute and setting it aside, he pointed to a nearby communal area set up with tall tables and rentable connections to get a message outside the no-Internet-zone needed for security. “I’ve never known you to miss the opening of the Detroit auto show,” he said as they walked. His low voice at her ear slipped through her like smoke, staining the folds of her mind and bringing a thousand unremembered moments with him to hover just beyond recollection. “I like your hair that length.”

    It was quieter among the tables, and Peri touched the tips of her jet-black hair just brushing her shoulders. She’d let it grow. No need to cut it. Slowly she levered herself up on one of the high stools. He’d been watching her. That was probably where her itchy feeling had been coming from, not that she’d had to close her store on a Monday to hit opening day.

    The hot-spot connection found her phone and chimed for her attention, and she turned the rentable link facedown. Silas looked tired. There was a familiar pinch of worry in his eyes as he levered himself onto the seat across from her. He laced his thick hands together, setting them innocently on the table, but she could smell the hint of gunpowder on him; he’d been to the range recently. A black haze shadowed his jawline, and a memory surfaced of how it would feel if she ran her hand over it, delighting in the prickly sensation on her fingertips. Behind him, people in extravagant dress and having enough technology to run a small country mingled and played. She’d come to lose herself among them, to pretend that it was hers again for the day. She missed the feeling of being in control so surely that the rest of the world seemed a fantasy.

    I shouldn’t have come here. I made a mistake.

    A misplaced anger seeped into her, pushing out the doubt. She’d made a place for herself, a new life, found a new security that didn’t hinge on anyone but herself. “Are you alone? Is Allen with you? Damn it, you do realize you might have blown my cover?”

    “It’s nice to see you, too. Yes, I’m fine,” Silas said dryly, and she slumped, looking past him and into the crowd for anyone watching without watching. Sighing, Silas scratched the side of his bent nose, his focus blurring as if remembering a past argument. “I might not have been the best agent, but I know better than to go to your coffee shop. As for Allen, I don’t particularly care where he is. I’ve not been in contact with him since”—he hesitated, lip twitching—“you quit.”

    She had left, and he’d found her. So not good. “Stay away from my coffee shop.” Heart pounding, she slid off the stool.

    “Peri. Wait,” he said, voice weary. “I only came to give you your book back,” he said, reaching past his coat to put one of her journals on the table.

    Her breath caught, and she stopped, recognizing the leather-bound tome. It had been painstakingly pieced back together, the damage pressed out as best as possible, but it was still obvious where the bullet had torn into it. Kind of like her life.

    It was from her last year in Opti training, an entire twelve months of memories intentionally erased from her mind so she could successfully bring down the corrupt Opti from the inside. The United States’ clandestine special ops program was gone, and the diary was her only link to why she had done it. Her pulse quickened at the answers that might lie in the pages. Why she hated blue sheets, why silver Mustangs made the scar on her pinky itch, why the scent of chocolate chip cookies left her melancholy. There were answers in the pages, guarded by demons she feared would tear apart what little self she’d managed to pull back. Her ignorance made her vulnerable, but it also made her safe.

    Hand to her cold face, she backed up, her footing unsure on the thick carpet. “I’m not that person anymore,” she whispered. Damn it, she was going to have to rabbit. If Silas had found her, anyone could.

    “Peri.”

    He pulled her to a stop. Anyone else would have gotten her heel through his instep, but she hesitated, letting him draw her back. Breath held, she looked up at him, her soul crying out for what she’d left behind. She’d liked who she’d been, and the wrongness of that still woke her in the night when all was quiet. Silas had been a big part of that, not the worst, but a part nevertheless.

    “I’m not asking you to return to the person you were, just understand her,” he said. “It’s been almost a year. You have to stop hiding from this. You won’t ever be free of it if you don’t come to grips with what you’ve done, the good and bad.”

    “Is that your professional opinion, Doctor?” she said, yanking out of his grip. Her wrist stung, but she refused to look at it.

    Silas’s jaw clenched as unknown thoughts flitted behind his eyes. Her chin lifted, daring him, and with a frustrated grimace, he turned away. “Never mind. I made a mistake. I shouldn’t have come. You take care of yourself, Peri.”

    “You, too,” she said as he walked away, hunched and unseeing. His tall frame and wide shoulders were tight under his coat as he wove through the lights, bare skin, and beautiful people. With a feeling of having won, she watched the crowd take him, but it shifted to worry as her fingers traced over the book in indecision, until finally she picked it up.

    A business card from the Georgia Aquarium slipped out, falling to the floor. It wasn’t Silas’s name on it, but he’d likely be using an alias. Next to it was a hand-printed phone number. She stared at the card for a moment before turning and walking away, leaving it to be lost in the clutter.

    To know what she had done might destroy everything she had made for herself. It was easier to ignore it, keep pretending she was happy and hope the lure to return to the power and prestige would never be stronger than the loathing of what she’d turned herself into to get there.

    But she wasn’t sure she could do that anymore.

  • Meet the Author

    Kim Harrison, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Hollows series, was born in Detroit and, after gaining her bachelor’s degree in the sciences, she moved to South Carolina, where she remained until recently returning to Michigan because she missed the snow. When not at her desk, Kim is most likely to be found landscaping her new/old Victorian home, in the garden, or out on the links.

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    The Operator 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
    Anonymous 27 days ago
    A fast paced story full of nail biting revelations. I can't wait for the next!
    AlexisTDHWestmore5 7 months ago
    The Operator is a fast paced ride you don't want to miss. Peri Reed has a skill set that is rare and powerful. The drawback is utilizing that skill leaves her exposed and vulnerable. Determined to be free of those who would use her for their own gain she isolated herself. Now a new threat looms and she has to decide who she can trust and who just wants her power. This is a can't put the book down read written in classic Harrison style with characters so real you will both cheer and cry.
    D-B1 8 months ago
    I loved and enjoyed reading the suspenseful, intriguing, and outstanding second sequel in the amazing Peri Reed Chronicles. I received a copy by the exceptionally talented Kim Harrison. After leaving Opti, Peri opens up a coffee shop and wants to remain anonymous but her old boss wants her back and injects her with a drug that helps her remember when she drafts but is highly addicting. Peri runs to Silas for help in finding an antidote and through reading her diary and spending time with Silas, Peri starts to remember the love her and Silas had. Read the highly recommended, wonderfully written with captivating characters, engaging and riveting story line, and a rekindling romance between Peri and Silas.
    PegGlover 8 months ago
    The operator is a fast-paced, compelling, thriller. Peri Reed is a drafter. She has the unique ability to remake history; by turning back time and rewriting it. The problem is, though, that Peri loses memory with each draft. Bill, an evil and manipulating key player from Opti, dangled a syringe in front of Peri and told her that for a favor, he could restore her memories. Of course, Bill has been lying to Peri for years. Still, she was tempted by his offer. Peri has had relationships with three men in Opti, Allen, Jack, and Silas. She wished that she could remember more, than just vague pieces, of their time together. She does recall, however, that she once loved Jack, until he betrayed her. Now, he sometimes shows up as a hallucination, popping in and out of her life, following her about, and warning her of danger. She doesn’t know who to trust. Peri’s greatest desire is to stop hallucinating, live a normal life with her memories intact, and be free from addiction. The price for pursuing this dream of hers, though, almost costs Peri, her life. The Operator is an entertaining, fast-paced, action-packed thriller with a complex plot and plenty of twists to keep the reader turning the pages. I received this ARC from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
    Anonymous 8 days ago
    LilyElementBookReviews 7 months ago
    The Operator is book two in The Peri Reed Chronicles. I knew I'd have to get this book since I enjoyed book one and really anything written by Kim Harrison is a must read for me. I will warn you though that this series is quite different from The Hollows series. Please don't start these thinking they're going to be similar. In case you don't remember or haven't started this series yet here is a little refresher. The series is focused on Peri Reed, a drafter that is able to rewrite time but unfortunately when that ability is used she loses some of her memories. Drafters are paired up with another person that is able to build their memories back afterwards. While that sounds like the perfect balance, it can be used in naughty ways since they can implant false memories instead. In this installment Peri is in hiding from the corrupt agency she was trying to take down from the inside. Her life quickly goes from mostly normal to straight back into action though. She finds out there is a new drug that will enable drafters to retain their memories without another person aiding in that step and of course her old handler wants her to be the guinea pig. He glosses over the fact that she'll become addicted to it and need him to be her supplier for the rest of her life if she takes it though. Peri's smart and during all the action in this one winds up teaming with new friends as well as old in attempts to find out more about the drug and take down her old team. The Operator is an adventure you won't want to miss! I love that this series has short period time travel abilities and that they can't really be all powerful since they lose memories as a balance. It's refreshing in a genre that seems to come with all powerful characters quite a bit. Peri is just trying to live her life but keeps getting dragged into messes that she has to clean up. While not a ton of progression happened in this installment, I feel like the next book is going to be quite interesting. We get to know more about Peri and what makes her tick as well as some of her old memories and friends. All in all, this was a solid sequel and if you're fond of Urban Fantasy with little to no romance I think you'd enjoy this series!
    gigiluvsbooks 8 months ago
    On-the-run ex-agent Peri Reed returns bigger and bolder than ever in this second highly-anticipated installment in #1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison's new suspense trilogy, The Peri Reed Chronicles. Peri Reed’s job eats her mind, but for a special task agent in hiding, forgetting the past can be a blessing. Betrayed by the man she thought she loved and the agency who turned her into the very thing she fought against, Peri abandoned the wealth and privilege of Opti for anonymity riddled with memory gaps and self-doubt. But when a highly addictive drug promises to end her dependency on those who’d use her as a tool for their own success, she must choose to remain broken and vulnerable, or return to the above-the-law power and prestige she once left: strong but without will—for whoever holds her next fix, will hold her loyalty. Yet even now as then, a love based on lies of omission might still save her life. Review: I did not think I would ever love a book/series as much as I do the Hollows series, but I am loving this. The action and intrigue keeps going from book one. I do highly recommend reading the books in order to more enjoy the series. I think it would be a little confusing otherwise. Hey! it is only book two so not to far to catch up. Without giving a lot away of the plot. Peri is still finding out more about her past. Though her past keeps trying to drag her back in. With the second book the series is starting to come into its own. The characters and and story are interesting and becoming more cohesive. I always love Ms. Harrison's writing style and it is shining in this one. Cannot wait to see what happens to Peri next! 4.5Stars *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book provided by the publisher.*
    Lilyitha 8 months ago
    Hello again, Peri, and thanks for the sleepless night! As one of Kim Harrison's "super fans", I was gifted with an ARC of the Operator with a promise to give my honest review. Kim Harrison is a world builder, with enticing, complex worlds that come second only to her fantastic character building. If you were a fan of the Hollows series, then you will love Peri's world of technology and secrets. Peri Reed is a Drafter, an agent for the shadowy corporation Opti. Gifted with the ability to rewrite time, Peri once lived a life of opulence and privilege. Now on the run after the events of the Drafter, her life is a secret even from herself, and Peri is slowly rebuilding. Opti, however, will not let their princess escape the kingdom so easily, and the dependence that they have built into Peri, as well as a powerful new drug, threatens ruin her life. When memories are fluid and the future is what money and power make of if, nothing can be certain. Silas, Peri's forcefully forgotten love, can only do so much, but it's great to watch them grow. Peri has to learn to trust herself as the world that created her proves that forgotten is not lost. I'm not broken, don't fix me. The same can be said of the heroines in both of Kim's worlds. Their allure is in their imperfection, however, and as always the little nuances are what make a Kim Harrison story the most fun. Nothing can replace the Hollows, but come into the Peri Reed series with an open mind and you won't be disappointed. Take some time to get to know the world. Now if only Kim could find a way to throw in pixies yelling profanity, Peri's world would be just as complete as Rachel's.
    pushingdaisies 8 months ago
    I'm not exactly sure what a 'super fan' is, but if that means that I anticipate every single Kim Harrison book and count the minutes until it's in my hot little hands, then yes! That is me! Thank you for the advanced copy of this book and in return, here is my honest review of The Operator. Kim Harrison has again given us a protagonist that we can all love and root for. From the minute we met her in the series prequel Sideswiped we knew she was special. Gutsy, smart and on-the-run, Peri has made a place for herself in a small coffee shop in futuristic Detroit. While she still can't remember chunks of her past thanks to her old partner and their previous employer, Peri is trying to adjust to her new normal while staying under the radar of her previous employer (Opti). Peri isn't left alone for long. Her cover is blown and she is once again torn between her old life as a special task agent where the lure of danger and intrigue made her feel alive, when her old employer teases her with a drug that can bring back her memory. But of course, there is a price. Peri's fast-paced journey forces her to trust unlikely friends, uncover secret alliances and weigh the option of regaining her memory at the expense of her freedom. And while this book is filled with a host of characters introduced in The Drafter allegiances are once again pliable. The only one Peri seems to truly be able to trust is Silas, the one man that demands nothing of her, but to stay alive. The Operator is a fantasic read, fast-paced and full of twists and turns. Deftly written and a perfect second installment to The Drafter. I cannot wait to see where Peri and Silas go from here. I'm completely 100% invested.
    thereadingchick 8 months ago
    Peri Reed is trying to lie low and live a life off the grid. After discovering in The Drafter that the life she’d been leading was fabricated, Peri is in hiding from Bill, her ex Opti handler. Unfortunately, Bill has other plans for her. A drug has been created that would return all of the memories she’d lost. The catch is that she’d be hooked, and Bill could control her by providing her with the drug, Evocane. Her choice between re-discovering herself and becoming, essentially, a crack addict was actually a difficult one. The Operator explores her relationship with the man she once loved but forgot, the man she loved who betrayed her and the boss she’d like to kill. With a couple other psychopaths thrown into the game. The Operator explored a bit more of Peri’s background. Silas, the man she loved and had wiped from her memory, is no longer content to watch things happen from the sidelines. In my opinion, he’s a big part of the success of this story. Without Silas, Peri would just be a caricature, an empty humanoid shell. The fact that she wants to remember their previous life together gives her the strength to fight for her freedom, and someone we can identify with and root for. Kim Harrison is the author of one of my favorite series (The Hollows) and I can’t help but compare Peri to that series female protagonist, Rachel Morgan. Peri and Rachel have a couple of things in common. They both have an inordinate amount of talent, they are a bit insecure, and their conscious comes in the form of a sidekick (Peri’s a hallucination of her ex partner and Rachel’s a pixie named Jenks). They both have a lot of honor, even though they may use bad judgement and extraordinary means to deliver the right outcome. When I pick up a book in either of their series, I know I am in for a wild ride. The Operator was definitely that!